Goma District; Mount Nyiragongo is located in the right side of Virunga National park that is 10 kilometers ahead of Goma town. Goma district is the capital of Nord Kivu in the eastern side of Democratic Republic of Congo, located on the northern shore of Lake Kivu. Goma is just 1km away from the Rwandan border and 3.5kilometers away from Gisenyi town in Rwanda. It lies in Albertine rift that is in the western side of the East African Rift valley system. Goma district is popular majorly because of the 2002 Nyiragongo eruption and the Rwanda Genocide as that is where most of the refugees ran to as well as Uganda.
This district harbors the mighty volcanic mountain that is; Mount Nyiragongo and the endangered mountain gorillas. Those intending to do, either Nyiragongo volcano hike or gorilla trekking in Congo, tend to have an overnight in this great town of Goma, to experience lovely Congolese life style. However you have to take care as you move around.
The region surrounding this mountain remains politically unstable but with a few security measures it is safe to visit. Goma is a tourist city because of the many tourist attractions so it receives a great number of visitors. This is the entry point for tourism in Congo, and most lodges are located in this town, as it is a hub for tourism in Congo. Most night clubs, and city life is found in this small town.
How to get to Goma District;
On foot: From Gisenyi Rwanda, Goma town is on the other side of the border just a 30 minutes’ walk to the city center.
By car: Goma is a 15 minutes ride from the Rwanda border of Gisenyi. You can also take a boda boda ride that is about 15 – 30 minutes away from the border to the city center according to the traffic.
By boat: There are several speed boats from Bukavu south side of Congo that take people to the Goma landing site and costs about 30-50 USD. Also there is a ferry that takes 5-7 hours from Bukavu to Goma. This goes for about 10- 40 USD.
By Plane: One can land directly at Goma International Airport as there are several domestic flights from different towns of Congo to Goma. There is a daily flight from Kinshasa to Goma. Another option is landing at the Kigali International airport that is 4 hours away from Goma but is the most advisable as it lands international flights from all over the world. This airport is a great hub for tourists going to Congo, Uganda and Burundi.
By Bus: There are several bus operators that connect to Goma for example from Kigali Rwanda to Goma, one can board Atraco Express or Okapi buses that take just 3 hours to get you to the Gisenyi- Goma border. From Uganda, there is a border called Bunagana so from Kisoro, one can take a minibus to that border to cross into Congo however, tourists are advised to opt to cross from Cyanika border of Uganda to Gisenyi- Goma border due to current security concerns with the Bunagana border.
Also Butembo in the north eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo has buses that set off to Goma but these are scheduled to leave early morning so be sure to be at the park in time to avoid disappointments.